Roasted Vegetable and Spinach Lasagne

Thursday, 24 March 2016
Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Spinach Lasagne

I'm calling this one a classic with a twist. Lasagne has always been one of my favourites and used to always be my meal of choice at an Italian. It was actually one of the first proper meals I learned to cook too. My dad taught me before I went away to university so I'd at least know how to cook one thing. Of course, we cooked it the traditional way using mince and white sauce, but I remember it well and how proud I was when it came out the oven and actually tasted good. A few years on when I started to eat less meat I created a veggie lasagne with ricotta cheese, which I loved a lot, but now that I'm in the process of going fully vegan (yay) I wanted to see if I could make a vegan lasagne that was just as delicious as its meat and vegetarian counterparts. I used a creamy cauliflower sauce as the white sauce and I think it worked really well because this is possibly the best lasagne I have ever made, and me and lasagne go way back so that's saying something. 

The recipe is quite long but please don't let that put you off. It is pretty easy to make and doesn't take long at all. It also freezes really well so make sure you cook lots so you can put some away for those nights when you need a quick, lazy and super tasty dinner. 

Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Spinach Lasagne

You will need (serves 4-6, depending on how big you like your portions):
for the red sauce 
2 carrots
1 onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 cup vegetable stock
2 teaspoons basil
a dash of chilli flakes

for the roasted vegetables
1 aubergine
1 courgette
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1 teaspoon paprika
ground pepper

for the white sauce 
1 head cauliflower
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
ground pepper, to taste

spinach
whole wheat lasagne sheets
vegan cheese to top (optional)


Method: 
for the white sauce 
- Start by making the white sauce. Chop the cauliflower into florets and then add all the ingredients, apart from the nutritional yeast, to a large pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the cauliflower is quite soft.
- Put the mixture into a blender adding the nutritional yeast and blend until smooth. Leave this to the side while you prepare the red sauce.

for the red sauce
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Chop up all the vegetables - the onion and carrot into small chunks and the courgette and aubergine into bigger chunks.
- Put the onion into a large pot and add a little olive oil. Fry the onion over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes and then add the garlic and carrot and fry for a further 2 minutes until all the vegetables have softened.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, basil and chilli flakes and leave this to simmer over a low heat while you roast the rest of the vegetables.
- Put the chunks of aubergine and courgette into a bowl and mix together with the olive oil, herbs, paprika and ground pepper until everything is coated. Transfer the vegetables to a roasting tin and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from the oven and give a good mix before adding the halved cherry tomatoes and putting back in the oven for the remaining time.
- Once the vegetables are roasted, add these to the red sauce and mix well. Leave this to simmer for a further 10-15 minutes so all the flavours can combine. 

to assemble the lasagne
- Once the red sauce is ready, you can start to assemble the lasagne. Start with a layer of red sauce followed by a layer of spinach leaves then a layer of white sauce and then the lasagne sheets. Repeat this twice and then finish with a layer of white sauce and top with vegan cheese.
- Put the lasagne into the oven at 180 degrees celsius and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Spinach Lasagne

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